Sex in 2012: Hooray for Sex, and Fuck You, Maxim

I REALLY want to be wrong about this actually coming from Maxim... but ...

I was thinking about doing a year-end roundup of public sex in 2012, but a few other people with much more significant means than myself have done it already, so I give you the best of the best-of lists!

The Year in Sex from Salon, a short round-up from Tracy Clark-Flory that reminds us how far we still have to go. And The Best and Worst Moments in Sex, 2012, from HuffPo, which gets it mostly right (they laud the study that said porn stars have high self esteem, that Trojan tried to give out vibrators on the street, etc)… except for when it calls forcing porn stars to use condoms one of the “Bests.” But then again, it does nod to Catlin Moran and Cindy Gallop for working for real sex in porn. You win some, you lose some.

I also encourage all my readers to go take a look at the Maxim 2012 Sex Survey because, friends of alternative sexualities and sex-positivity and all things that can be awesome… this is what we’re up against. The Mayan apocalypse did not happen, and so we’re still stuck slogging upward against the ceaseless barrage of Being Told Who And What We Are And Should Be. Behold, a copy-and-paste from the survey:

44. Have you ever done one of the following to your boyfriend:

Note that “I don’t do that” is not an option. If you are a woman in a relationship with a man, you ARE snooping through his personal stuff. That’s how it works.

Also note that the survey presupposes that you are a heterosexual woman; the survey asks your age range and gender, but does not ask if you are hetero or homo or bi or trans or anything. It then goes on to ask you all about your sex and dating life–with men only. However, a mere thirty-eight questions later:

39. What’s the furthest you’ve gone with a girl?

So… you’re still assumed to be straight even if you’ve had sex with a “girl.” And let’s be clear here, only “girls” have sex with other “girls.” Women… don’t do that? Also, let it it be noted that the survey is under the first tab on the website, which is titled “Girls.” Ugh.

Anyway… Just like when I freaked out about sexism in Men’s Health, I realize that Maxim isn’t exactly a paragon of sexual understanding or freedom. But it still annoys the living bejeezus out of me that the magazine-buying public puts up with this bullshit. This is the kind of thing that limits our understandings of sex and sexuality, and not even in a sneaky way. If your only choices when it comes to threesomes are presented as: Only with two strangers, with a boyfriend and a “girl” you don’t know, with two men, or never… You might come away thinking those are the only appropriate ways to have threesomes. Which is ridiculous. Because there is, as far as I can tell, nothing in this world more deliciously wide-ranging, as beautifully textured, as deeply nuanced, as human sexuality. You can have a threesome however you want to. You can have a threesome with two people you know. You can have a threesome with two women. You can do whatever the fuck you want to. And that’s why sex is so great. Your options aren’t limited to what a grossly sexist men’s magazine says they are. They’re only limited to consensual adult behavior, as far as I’m concerned, and fuck anyone who says otherwise.

So fuck you, Maxim. The Mayan apocalypse didn’t happen, but I’m declaring a new world order in my own life: fuck you and the sex-negative horse you rode in on. I was going to encourage all my readers to fill out your survey to skew the results as far as possible toward the queer and the kinky, but you know what? Fuck that. Instead I’m gonna tell them all that your survey SUCKS. All y’all, if you do go take this survey, fill in every single “other” write-in answer with something taking Maxim to task for its small-mindedness. Here’s a resolution for 2013: let’s call bullshit on this kind of small-mindedness. Keep the ball of positivity and open-mindedness rolling. Hoo-ah!


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